Hey Folks! We’re excited to welcome back Certified 21DSD Coach Michal Ofer. Michal's article is part of a series of articles contributed by our Certified 21DSD Coaches. Enjoy! – Diane and Team
The 21DSD gets awesome results – even when you don’t want it to!
My husband, Ryan, really enjoys enjoying his life. He loves the outdoors, playing team sports, hiking, camping, racing motorbikes, and eating. Food has always been an enjoyment, an extreme sport of sorts, and indulging in what the food world has to offer is one of the true pleasures in his life. He has never been on a diet, watched what he has eaten, worried about his nutrition or been concerned with food other than its immediate gratification. We always joked that he was a buffet manager’s nightmare patron.
The years of football and motorbike racing were slowly taking their toll. Aches and pains were becoming a ‘normal’ part of life, and a recent accident had left him wearing wrist guards at night and scheduled for surgery. The possibility of his racing career coming to an end was now a reality and surgery would keep him away from his job for a few months. To top things off, he was dealing with weight gain for the first time in his life.
Although he has watched me go through my own food journey and witnessed how the 21DSD has shifted both my health and perspective, this was NOT an option. This was a man who enjoyed his SAD food – pizza, beer, wings, pasta, the usual suspects. Eating was another sport – often done to the extreme. The 21DSD was ‘too hard’ and not necessary. What does the food you eat have to do with pain and discomfort anyway? There’s Tylenol for that!
Luckily for Ryan, I decided to place him on his own 21DSD whether he liked it or not.
His job takes him deep into unpopulated territory, often hours away from the nearest town, for weeks at a time. On his next journey out, I carefully repacked his supply kit. Gone were the processed food-like products, the pasta, the packaged sauces, the frozen pizza, the cereals and treats. Instead he got a cooler full of whole, real 21DSD-friendly foods, some home-made, some carefully selected packaged goods. I also decided not to tell him for two reasons: he would balk at the idea and be done before he began, and most importantly, he would stop on his way out of town and pick up everything he figured he would be missing out on!
Once he realized what I had done, I got constant updates of his pain and suffering. The headaches, the moodiness, the skin issues, the digestive issues, the sleep disruptions, the sugar cravings – EVERY symptom you could think of, he experienced in great degrees. He was literally working out and counting down the hours until he could go and get some ‘proper’ food. Ryan was having none of this crazy stuff that worked for me – because I needed it – but he was fine with his status quo.
Soon the consistent barrage of complaints stopped.
Day 18 we were talking. I had been trying not to ask too many questions, but did want to know how his wrists were feeling. Ryan’s response was a huge feeling of relief – he hadn’t even noticed that he had not used or needed his wrist guards in about a week. He had no more wrist pain and sleeping was not causing cramping and intense discomfort. He was feeling better than he had in years and couldn’t believe how little pain he had!
Things only got better from here.
If you ask Ryan about it he would say, “I reduced my wrist inflammation and no longer needed surgery, saving both my racing career and my job, all my other aches and pains disappeared, my energy levels soared and at 40 I was able to compete and win motorbike races against people 15 years younger. I was stronger and faster than ever. I stopped losing my hair, my skin improved, my night vision improved and I got more muscle definition without even trying. I had a really bad reaction to apples (no one would be in a room with me if I ate them), but this is no longer the case, and I discovered that dairy is the cause of many of my ‘normal’ digestive complaints. To top it all off, I lost the 30 pounds effortlessly.”
Ryan followed the 21DSD for 27 days before finally having his pizza. He took one bite and thought there was something wrong with it as it tasted awful. He finds that he misses the memory of the pizza more than the real thing and a good meatza tastes way better. He has since incorporated the principles of the 21DSD into his daily life, even requesting we follow an ‘official’ plan every now and then to reset and get back on track.
Although his friends and colleagues are often wary and sometimes condescending, he is a loud proponent of the program and enjoys sharing his story, in great, animated detail with anyone who will give him an ear.
Real food ROCKS and the 21DSD is always beneficial, in a particularly personal way, every time, whether you want it to or not.
She has always had a love for food, cooking and all things nutrition related. Michal grew up in South Africa where she studied biological sciences and got her degree in Optometry with a minor in holistic nutrition. After some traveling, disguised as learning overseas, Michal immigrated to Canada where she worked in business development and team building. A less than positive experience with the current acute care medical system and ‘Standard American (Canadian) Diet’ whilst trying to overcome a chronic health issue, led Michal on a path to discovering that food truly is our best medicine and that all healing begins in the gut. Once recovered, Michal wanted to help others reach their optimal level of health, wellness and vitality that a real food approach to diet gives. Michal is a nutritional consultant working with individuals looking to improve their general well-being, with a special emphasis on naturally and holistically healing the damage that disordered eating creates in the entire digestive system. When not counseling others or trying to keep up to date with the online world, Michal is an amateur cook, testing her newest food creations on brave volunteers. She can be reached at [email protected] for further insight into moving beyond eating disorders.